It is not unusual for teens to have an extreme reaction to a trauma, leaving them susceptible to severe depression and anxiety.
Referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it is critical that your teen receive counseling to begin and complete the healing process. Left untreated in teens, PTSD can result can serious consequences, including suicide. If you teen has gone through a traumatic event, the following types of therapy are often most beneficial.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Studies have found that CBT is the most effective type of therapy for treating children and teens suffering from PTSD. During treatment, a licensed therapist will discuss—usually gradually—the traumatic event directly with your teen. They will also teach her relaxation techniques to help her remain calm while recalling the event, and to redirect distorted or inaccurate thoughts related to the trauma. CBT teaches your teen not to be afraid of her memories.
CBT usually includes parental involvement and education. Research has found that parents who are better able to cope with trauma are better able to support their child and help them function.
Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Shown to be an effective treatment option for teens suffering from PTSD, DBT consists of four components: skills training group, individual therapy, DBT phone coaching, and consultation team. DBT is designed to enhance a person’s ability to cope with trauma by teaching them behavioral skills they can use in their daily life. These skills include:
- Mindfulness: staying fully present in the moment,
- Distress tolerance: how to tolerate pain and stress in difficult situations without changing it
- Interpersonal effectiveness: how to ask for something you want, as well as how to say no while maintaining self-respect and relationships with others
- Emotional regulation: how to successfully change the emotions you want to change.
Additional forms of therapy that are likely to help a teen suffering from PTSD include:
- Equine therapy: Ideal for teens struggling with emotional difficulties, equine therapy helps to rebuild relationships through mutual respect and trust.
- Expressive therapy: This gives your teen an appropriate outlet for expressing her feelings and may include art, music, drama, dance, and writing therapy. These types of therapy are usually incorporated into a residential program.
If your teen has experienced a traumatic event and is suffering from PTSD, it is important to act now to help her get the treatment she needs to heal.
Sedona Sky Academy is an all-girls residential treatment center that specializes in helping traumatized teens to recover. To find out more, call us at (855) 290-9680.